Published Jan 01, 2006Toronto-based producer Shaw-Han Liem, otherwise known as I Am Robot And Proud, creates mesmerising music that exists somewhere between the kaleidoscopic brilliance of Lemon Jelly and the sublime subtlety of Stereolab. Like the former, Liems technique involves transforming tiny fragments of sound into an intriguing and emotive whole. His sophomore full-length, Grace Days, begins with the tinkling shuffle of the ponderous title track, followed by "The Mood Youre In, a skittering synth exploration whose warmth transcends the sterile tendencies of ambient electronica. "A List of Things that Quicken the Heart, on the other hand, is a post-millennial lullaby for days when the sun grows cold. Elsewhere, organic and electronic elements come together in surprising harmony, as on the bustling rise and fall of "Mexico City. Similarly, the remainder of the disc consists of a beautiful collection of intricate aural tapestries, bolstered by deep bass and pulsing rhythms. From the deliciously slow grind of "Winter at Night to the elegant glockenspiel odyssey of "Learn From Mistakes, Liem dazzles the listener as much as he soothes. The perfect soundtrack for counting stars, hot baths, or falling in love with your computer.
What have you been up to since 2000's The Catch? It has been a long time since my last "proper album, but there have been three EPs in the interim. I've also been touring as much as possible and spending a lot of time writing songs with the band I play in, Sea Snakes. Also, I finished my university degree!
What instruments/equipment did you use on this record? I use a lot of different instruments: guitars, electric pianos, synth and various household items. Everything is recorded and sequenced on a computer. Since I grew up playing in bands, it's pretty natural to incorporate all these "traditional instruments into my records.
What role does software play in the creation of your music? Software gives you a way to imagine sounds and instruments that don't exist. It is a great way to explore all kinds of ideas and different ways of putting sounds together. To be honest, even though I have a degree in computer science, I haven't explored the technical aspects of the software I use too much. For me, it's best to concentrate on musical ideas when making music and save algorithms for programming. (Catmobile)